Navarre to retireWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Chief Mike Navarre of the Toledo Police Department announced his retirement Sept. 15 after 13 years of service as the chief and more than 30 years as an officer. Mayor Mike Bell appointed Asst. Chief Derrick Diggs to replace him, starting Oct. 21.
“This is a sad day and a great day at the same time,” Bell said at a news conference.
Chief Navarre said of his tenure, “This job has been very interesting, never boring.” He thanked former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner for appointing him in 1998 and also expressed gratitude for his police officers and members of staff.
He thanked his family, wife Julie and their four children, saying, “They really had to sacrifice over the years. There’s always that uncertainty when they [police] do that eight hour shift. Are they gonna come home?”
Although Navarre insisted that the day was really about Diggs, Diggs said the same of Navarre. Both Navarre and Diggs joined the department in 1977. The two first met in a boxing session when they were in police academy and Navarre joked that he had won.
“It’s his day and we’ll let him tell the story he wants to tell,” Diggs joked. He declined to reveal his new agenda, but did say, “There are plans in place. They are very ambitious and very bold.”
Bell emphasized that Navarre was “not being booted out. He’s being timed out.” Navarre said he agreed on his retirement date eight years ago.
“I’m ready to move on. I think the department’s ready to move on,” Navarre said. He said he will devote the next five weeks to a smooth transition for Diggs. After the transition, he plans to remodel his house and spend more time in Florida with his family.
“You were our guy,” Lucas County Sheriff James Telb said. “It didn’t take long before you were flying by yourself.” A former teacher to Navarre, Telb credited Navarre with helping install the countywide communication system for area safety officials, what he called, “absolutely the best in the nation.”